The Emotiva RMC-1 16-channel processor is an amazing piece of equipment, built by audiophiles for audiophiles. It’s the perfect piece of gear for home audio enthusiasts who don’t mind spending a bit of money to achieve the very best setup.

The RMC-1 is a 16-channel differential preamp made in the United States, with an incredible number of inputs and outputs supporting high-end audio-visual use. The unit is capable of passing video of up to 60Hz with up to 4K quality.

The unit includes eight HDMI inputs and two outputs (one with ARC support). It’s also capable of decoding Dolby Atmos and DTS:X signals up to 9.1.6 channels. Sixteen XLR audio outputs allow you to connect to speakers with flexibility and reliability.

Additionally, the unit boasts a built-in 11(!) band-per-channel parametric EQ for making the finest of adjustments. For those who wish to avoid manual EQ adjustments, the included Dirac Microphone allows you to set filters accordingly using software such as the Room EQ Wizard.

The Sound

As you would expect for a device of this caliber and price point, the sound quality is exceptional. The five selectable listening presets provide you with a customizable, tailor-made sound. The stereo and surround modes offer dedicated room correction settings with bass management, while reference mode provides pure stereo with no bass management. What comes in is exactly what comes out, with no enhancement or coloration.

Dirac technology is included for room correction, meaning you can easily compensate for reflection and other acoustical shortcomings in your home theater space. This uses an included microphone to take frequency response readings around the room, thus gathering the information to provide a customized audio experience. 

The RMC-1's 11-band-per-channel parametric EQ gives you even more control over the audio, allowing one to tweak and adjust the sound from the sweet spot via the included remote control.

If you’re looking to enjoy vinyl playback as well with the RMC-1, you’ ll need to purchase one of Emotiva’s expansion modules. The Phono Stage Module allows you to add high-end phono capability to your unit for both MM and MC cartridges. The Balanced Input Module adds two more fully balanced analog stereo inputs to your unit.


Overall - as one would expect from a product marketed towards audiophiles - the RMC-1 processor has a clear, natural and dynamic sound. If you are looking to enjoy Dolby Atmos sound up to 9.1.6 (this configuration includes two front channels, two “wide” channels, two side channels, two rear speakers, and three pairs of height channels) and DTS:X up to 7.1.4 (omitting the “wide” and “top middle” channels), this processor is a perfect choice for the “brains” behind your home audio setup. 

It can handle virtually any audio or visual function one could desire within a home theater. If you are looking for crystal clear audio, and the option to play audio for visual media, or as a standalone, with the most incredible quality, the Emotiva RMC-1 16 Channel Atmos Processor has the quality required.

Support IAA by purchasing the Emotica RMC-1!

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About the Author
Ben is a writer and musician from the UK with a background in music technology. He writes about engineering and production, musicianship and music equipment for a number of publications including his site, Subreel.